William “Roddie” Bryan and Gregory and Travis McMichael, the three men charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, all pled not guilty at the arraignment on Friday.
Bryan’s attorney is pursuing bond for his client. He also filed a motion to submit questions to potential jurors in the attempt to screen them for biases.
He requested that everyone be examined separately and privately. He says there are “sensitive and potentially embarrassing questions exploring the prospective juror’s bias and prejudice, especially with respect to matters of race.”
The list comprises over 50 questions. The questions included: “What in your opinion is the principal cause of crime in America today?” and “What steps do you think people who are frightened about crime should take to protect themselves?”. Another question was: “Have you ever heard the statement, he looks like a criminal? If yes, do you think that if someone ‘looks like a criminal’ they are probably guilty if they are arrested for a crime? Why/why not?”
Bryan’s attorney argues that the killing could have been a case of citizen’s arrest. He claims that there was sufficient evidence to constitute probable cause that Arbery had criminally attempted to commit burglary, which permitted McMichael to attempt a citizen’s arrest and then defend himself when Arbery fought back.
Additionally, Bryan’s attorney notes that Arbery was running, which he argues allows one to presume criminal intent in an attempted burglary case.
Bryan’s attorneys also requested to examine all of Arbery’s probation documents as well as any medical or mental health records, juvenile court records, Department of Children and Family Services records, and any board of education records.
Finally, Bryan’s attorney claims that an objective observer would have reason to believe he was attempting a burglary when he ran from the house because Arbery knew he was a convicted felon on probation for shoplifting.